The superstar winger has been nothing short of superb in the European competition so far, carrying Madrid through the group stages behind Borussia Dortmund, past the likes of Manchester United and Galatasaray in the knockout rounds and into the tournament semifinals.
Cristiano Ronaldo: Is the top scorer in the CL this season with 11 goals in 10 CL games from 70 shots (15.7% conversion)— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) April 10, 2013
Los Blancos will take on the very team that saw them struggle mightily in the group stage—Borussia Dortmund—in their bid to make the final once more.
Madrid saw their Champions League run end at the hands of a German team (namely Bayern Munich) in the semifinals of the tournament last year, with Ronaldo starring in their heartbreaking defeat. The star winger had two goals and an assist across both legs, and while he failed to convert his penalty in the shootout, it was hard to fault him too much for his performance.
Now Ronaldo and Madrid are back in the same position, but with a different outlook on the situation. They know the heartbreak and they know what needs to be done to defeat Dortmund—having failed to do so twice already this season—and will be more than ready to take off in this one.
Ronaldo is in much better form this year than he was last year, or any other year, really. The 28-year-old has been simply superb this season both in Spain and Europe in general, and will no doubt look to continue that success against a Dortmund defense that has struggled for clean sheets.
As we saw in the group stages, as dominant as the German giants can be on defense, it only takes one opportunity for Ronaldo to leave his mark on the game.
In their 2-1 defeat, it was the Portuguese international who netted Madrid's goal on a swift counterattack, going the full length of the field in only a matter of seconds as he chased down an aerial long ball and deftly guided it over the hapless goalkeeper.
One touch and one goal for Ronaldo. He's just that deadly.
In truth, his entire Champions League campaign attests to his deadliness and attacking dominance, netting 11 goals and an assist in the tournament so far. Moreover, he is averaging a staggering seven shots per game and two goal-scoring chances created for others—more than he is averaging for Los Blancos in La Liga this season.
The last Champions League game in which Ronaldo didn't score was back in November, 2012, at the Etihad Stadium against Manchester City. Yet even still, the superstar winger picked up the man-of-the-match award in a 1-1 draw, had three shots on target and created five goal-scoring chances—all with just nine men behind him thanks to Alvaro Arbeloa's dismissal.
5 - No player has scored more braces than Cristiano Ronaldo in the #UCL in the last two seasons. Tireless— OptaJose (@OptaJose) April 9, 2013
Ronaldo is in far better form this year than ever before, and with the memories of last season still fresh in his mind, expect him to tear it up against Dortmund again.
The German giants have struggled to post clean sheets of late and have already seen first-hand just how deadly Ronaldo can be—even if he's only given one chance.
Look for that to continue at the Westfalenstadion next week.